Cashew Cheese Grits with Kicked-Up Kale

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Serving Size:
Recipe Servings4
Prep Time:
Recipe Prep time45 mins
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Cashew Cheese Grits with Kicked-Up Kale

Ingredients

Vegan cheddar-style cashew cheese spread
(yields 2 1/2 cups):
2 cup lightly salted and roasted cashew halves or pieces
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup unsweetened soymilk
1/2 cup beer or non-alcoholic beer
2 tablespoon any kind of miso paste (the darker the color, the deeper the flavor)

Southern-style cashew cheese grits:
3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup quick country grits
1/2 cup cashew cheese spread
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Kicked-up kale:
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 cup of coarsely chopped kale, thick stems removed before chopping
1 generous tablespoon of nutritional yeast
1 generous tablespoon of cream sherry (it is non-dairy; bourbon, vegetable stock or water can be substituted, though the stock and water will not impart the same special flavor)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Optional garnish: a few smoked almonds or a pinch of smoked paprika

Instructions

First make the cashew cheese spread. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process for a few minutes or until quite smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Store in an airtight container or crock in the refrigerator.

Next make the grits. In a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, bring the water and salt to a rapid boil. Slowly stir in the grits and reduce the heat to medium-low; cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until thickened. During the last minute or so of cooking, whisk in the cheese spread and the turmeric until completely combined. Remove from the heat and leave covered until ready to serve.

While the grits cook, make the kale. In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high, heat olive oil to shimmering. Add kale and sauté, stirring continually, until it is softened, but still bright green, about 4-5 minutes. It will cook down considerably. If it appears to be drying out, sprinkle with a tablespoon of water. At the end of the cooking time, sprinkle the nutritional yeast and the cream sherry over the top. This is such a small amount, that it should not flare up, but be aware that spirits can ignite. Sauté the kale for another 30 to 60 seconds, stirring gently to combine and distribute, and then remove from heat. Divide the warm grits among 4 serving plates or shallow bowls and serve one-fourth of the warm kale over the grits. Sprinkle with smoked almonds or smoked paprika. Note: if you desire more sauce, simply double or triple the amount of nutritional yeast and cream sherry.

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